By Staff Reporter
Gweru- Vandalism of electrical infrastructure has crippled the implementation of new projects in the region, as available funding is being channelled towards replacing vandalized equipment.
In a statement that was released by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), the vandalism and theft of ZESA equipment have seen thousands of dollars being lost.
From January to November 2021, the power utility has lost over 30 transformers valued at USD 230,980.00 as the vandals are targeting transformer oil and coils.
The report further highlights that during the same period the institution lost about 2206 kgs of overhead copper conductor valued at USD44,130.00 and 1,180 meters of underground copper cables valued at USD 9246.00.
“In total, we have lost USD284,356.00 from vandalism of ZESA infrastructure in ZETDC Southern Region only for the period under review. Some of the most affected areas included Gweru which had vandalism of ZESA property amounting to USD82 500, while Kwekwe had US$113,300. Mataga recorded USD9,800 while Shurugwi had USD6,230.
“Power supply is greatly being compromised by increasing cases of theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure that has resulted in unplanned power outages.
“Theft and vandalism of electrical infrastructure have resulted in increased faults leading to frequent and long power outages that some clients perceive to be load shedding,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, addressing residents in Mkoba during a Ward engagement meeting on the state of electricity supply in the province, ZETDC, Public Relations Manager, Mr. Edward Nyoni appealed to members of the public to safeguard electrical property.
“There are issues of power shortages in the country and load shedding is centered on making sure that we share electricity sparingly amongst everyone.
“The power utility is appealing for community participation in the protection of electricity,” added Nyoni
However, ZETDC is pursuing various strategies that include patrols, special operations in liaison with other security agents, and awareness campaigns to contain the menace.